The body mass index (BMI) is a convenient formula used for identifying possible weight problems, typically in adults. Because BMI uses only height and weight, it is used on a chart that is the same for both men and women. Once you know your BMI, you can check it against the chart to determine whether your weight falls into the range for underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. This will make it easier to set weight goals, whether the end results are to gain, lose or maintain your ideal weight range.
Examine the basic BMI formula; this is what you will enter your personal height and weight numbers into: weight divided by (height squared) times the conversion factor of 709.
Weigh and measure yourself and convert your total height into inches. For example, if you are five feet six inches tall, your height in inches equals 66. For our example, we’ll use the weight of 145 pounds.
Enter your numbers into the BMI formula. Using our previous example, first square your height by multiplying it times itself: 66 times 66 equals 4,356.
Calculate your BMI by dividing your weight by the squared height and then multiplying the sum by 703. In our example of squared height of 4,356 and weight of 145 pounds, the calculation will be 145 divided by 4356 times 703, with a result of 24.40. This number is your BMI.
Locate your BMI on the weight status chart; this will tell you your assessment category. The BMI status categories are: BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight. A BMI range between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered in the normal range; if your BMI falls between 25 and 29.9, it is considered overweight. A body mass index that is 30 and above falls into the obese category.
- weight image by julien tromeur from Fotolia.com